This week on BBS: Long-term probiotic use could halt MSG-associated obesity, kefir Lactobacilli poke holes in cancer cells, and there’s more evidence that microbiota control obesity susceptibility.
Probiotic Effectiveness for MSG Obesity
Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a common taste enhancer in Chinese food, is associated with obesity. New research published in the EPMA Journal addressed whether probiotic treatment could prevent the development of MSG associated obesity. The researchers, headed by Oleksandr A. Savcheniuk, triggered obesity by injecting newborn rats with MSG. The treatment group received a probiotic mixture consisting of Lactobacillus casei IMVB-7280, Bifidobacterium animalis VKL, B. animalis VKB after weaning while the control group received a water placebo. The probiotic mixture significantly reduced clinical obesity measured at four months of age.
Cancer Cell Death Induced by Lactobacilli
Some studies suggest that beneficial bacteria could have an anti-cancer effect. Dr. Mamdooh Ghoneum of Charles Drew University investigated this further using a special probiotic Lactobacillus collected from kefir. He found that mixing his kefir mixture together with a multi-drug resistant cancer cell line resulted in cell of the cancer cells. Closer examination revealed that the cells were pierced by holes, which led to programmed cell death (apoptosis). His work suggests that probiotics may be useful for drug-resistant cancer treatment.
Susceptibility to Obesity Is in Your Gut
Researchers are trying to get behind the importance of the intestinal microbiota in obesity. One vexing question is which comes first, the obesity or the changed microbiota? A recent study by Frank A. Duca and Yassine Sakar in Diabetes demonstrates that the microbiota can come first. After characterizing the microbiota from obese resistant and obese prone rats, they colonized new hosts with each type. Rats given the obese prone microbiota became obese and developed other signs of suboptimal metabolic functioning. Major differences between the obese prone and obese resistant microbiota was an absence of Oscillibacter and some Clostridium species in the obese resistant bacteria.
- Savcheniuk OA, Virchenko OV, Falalyeyeva TM, Beregova TV, Babenko LP, Lazarenko LM et al. The efficacy of probiotics for monosodium glutamate-induced obesity: dietology concerns and opportunities for prevention. EPMA J 2014; 5(1): 2.
- Ghoneum M, Gimzewski J. Apoptotic effect of a novel kefir product, PFT, on multidrug-resistant myeloid leukemia cells via a hole-piercing mechanism. Int J Oncol 2014. [Epub ahead of print]
- Duca FA, Sakar Y, Lepage P, Devime F, Langelier B, Dore J et al. Replication of obesity and associated signaling pathways through transfer of microbiota from obese prone rat. Diabetes 2014. [Epub ahead of print]